David Dryland

David Dryland

4th-year student, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations conjoint programme

Ngāpuhi / Te Arawa

His time at AUT has helped him fall in love with the subject of psychology, says David Dryland who is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business conjoint programme.

“My father had always wanted me to go down the business track, but towards the end of Year 13 I decided that I wanted to consider psychology as well, as I had experienced mental illness in the past. I went into it wanting to help others through counselling, but my studies made me realise that ultimately I want to teach psychology at high school level.”

It was the opportunity to be part of a special admissions team that inspired him to want to work in education, David says.

“I helped new university students who may not have arrived the usual way, straight from high school. I was matched with some wonderful education students, and the more I spoke with them and could see how happy they were and what drove them, the more I realised what I wanted to do after university

“I’d love to be able to open the eyes of high school students to the subject of psychology, hopefully inspiring some to pursue it afterwards. I’m also considering pairing this with counselling at high schools as well, so that I can help in the school’s community and teach it at the same time.”

Choosing AUT
He decided to study at AUT for a number of reasons, says David who is now in the final year of his studies.

“I liked the idea of a practical university; one where we as students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience rather than just learning theories and not applying them until we get to the workforce. I also liked how past students described AUT’s student community as one where students build each other up rather than tearing each other down to get top marks. Community was a big thing at my high school, and AUT matched those same values.”

The opportunities he has had throughout his time at AUT are what David enjoyed most.

“Obviously, learning and achieving is the top priority for us as students, but the amount of potential opportunities that have arisen along the way have been invaluable. These range from friendships to career opportunities; all making for a more enjoyable overall learning experience.”

Supported to thrive
The support at AUT is next to none, David says.

“There are support services in place for just about everything you could need as a student at AUT. The student services are there to support us as students, and quite often they involve past or present students who may have been exactly in the same position as us.”

David knows what he is talking about – he still remembers the difference using one of the student support services made to his first-year grades.

“One of my core business papers in my first year was probably the biggest challenge of my time at AUT. I couldn’t wrap my head around what the subject was or what was expected for us, even though everyone else appeared to find it easy.

“I reached out to the peer mentor team, and was matched with a student who had taken the same paper a few years ago and had achieved top marks in it. She explained to me what was expected and where I could look to gain a better understanding. I went from barely passing that class to achieving an A- overall.”

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